Character in Business
by Ron Kurtus (revised 20 November 2011)
The character of a business reflects the character of its leader.
The business leader must be honest and honorable for the company to succeed. Part of this is to assure that the company displays good character in dealing with its customers.
An honorable business will gain respect and loyalty from its customers. An honorable business leader will gain respect from customers and loyalty from workers. Every effort should be made to maintain honorable traits.
Questions you may have include:
- What does having character mean?
- What are the benefits to a businessperson?
- How does a business show character?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Having character means that you are honorable and honest, have integrity, and are reliable and responsible. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who lie, cheat, or steal. They may also be lazy, unreliable or inconsiderate of others.
The business leader must have honesty and integrity in dealing with his or her workers and customers. The same is true for reliability and other forms of character. The leader must be ethical and conscientious in all activities.
The business as an entity must also follow honest and ethical practices. In smaller businesses, the character of the company is a direct reflection of the character of the owner. As a company becomes large, the character of the leader has less influence, unless his or her philosophies are company policy.
There are situations where the leader of a large business or organization has been found to be dishonest or immoral in his or her personal dealings, yet the company's reputation survived. This is usually because enough honest people were running the company, such that the leader's influence on business character was minimized.
Having an honorable character is a natural progression from being healthy, skilled and excellent, as well as providing value to the customers.
Importance and benefits
Being a business leader of high character is important in your relationship with other people, your business and your own self worth.
If you are known as an honest and honorable businessperson—one who is reliable and responsible—then those with whom you deal will be respect you. The customers of your business, your suppliers, and those you employ will trust you, know they can depend on you and give you the respect and honor you deserve.
People certainly don't want to deal with a person who lies, steals or is immoral.
Another important factor is that being an honorable business leader gives you greater self-esteem. You feel good about yourself. Finally, there is the religious aspect of being honest, moral and ethical.
Your actions determine what people think of you and establish your reputation. They also determine how others will respond to what you do and say. The way to have character is to always make sure that you are honest, honorable and forthright. Make sure there is no implication of dishonesty in any form.
You should also seek to be considerate of others and conscientious in your business dealings. This doesn't mean that you have to be perfect, but it does mean that you are trying to be someone of high character.
A business leader needs to be honest and reliable. Your reputation affects how people deal with you. Having good character results in others respecting you and increases your own esteem. Having character requires a constant effort.
Always do the right thing
Resources and references
The following are resources on this subject:
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Character in Business